Wisconsin Judge Philip Kirk must fancy himself a rather funny person.
Kirk sentenced a 71-year-old, former school bus driver named Delton Gorges to seven years in prison today for sexually assaulting four boys over the course of 40 years.
But that’s not why Judge Kirk must think he’s funny. Gorges swore in his defense that he’s a heterosexual because he was once married and has a child — as if his sexuality would or should have any bearing on his sentence.
Judge Kirk, who as WLUK TV reports, has a reputation for being “candid,” then made this astute observation in response: “I think you were born gayer than a sweet-smelling jockstrap,” said Judge Kirk.
Um, okay. We’re not in the habit of smelling jock straps, which always stank in high school, so we’ll just have to take his word for it that sweet-smelling jock strap are gay.
We’ll take a moment to remind you that this man is a judge, because Kirk hopped on the crazy train and didn’t stop at that outrageous bon mot. Nope, he went on to offer these comments:
Ah, yes, let’s toss a cross-dressing joke in there for good measure. Gorges’ lawyer, Tom Johnson, said he believed some people might find the comments “controversial” and “unconventional,” but thought that Judge Kirk was merely trying to shed light on what happens when people keep their “lifestyle private.”
In a moment of empathy, Kirk offered this: “I can’t imagine in the ’40s or ’50s admitting your sexual orientation. No one knew there was a closet to come out of in those days. You know you had to be very careful because you could have found your penis floating in the Wolf (River) as walleye bait. It was a terrible life to have to live.” Sorry, the opposite of empathy.
Judge Kirk insisted his ruling had little to do with Gorges’ sexuality. Which, what a relief, right?
Again, as bizarre as the comments by Judge Kirk were, this isn’t an issue of a judge putting his foot in his mouth. This is an issue of a judge not really understanding the fundamental difference between homosexuality and pedophilia.
As a judge it seems downright baffling to equate one with the other. The implication of his comments are that pedophiles are gay and that gays are pedophiles and there’s something inherently wrong with both of those things. Which is, well, it’s laughable on the one hand and angering on the other.
There’s pedophilia, which Delton Gorges was and should be sentenced for, and then there’s homosexuality, which has absolutely nothing to do with the first.